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How to Appear Offline on Steam

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Andrew is a freelance writer that is based in the UK. He has spent an unhealthy amount of time playing Final Fantasy VIII but he also enjoys playing other games occasionally as well. When he's not playing games, he can often be found playing and making music.

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You’ll sometimes want to use Steam undisturbed while still being able to send and receive messages. Appearing offline allows you to get notifications and exchange messages while letting you work or play without unwanted messages or invites.

Note: It’s not currently possible to appear offline on the mobile app at the time this article was published.

Table Of Contents

    Appearing Offline vs Offline Mode

    Appearing offline (also referred to as “Invisible”) differs from going offline on your Friends page. When you are “Invisible,” you appear offline to your friends. However, you can still exchange messages with them and send invites to them.

    The Steam Friend page with the user being "Invisible" and thus appearing offline.

    When you go Offline, you are signed out of your Friends page and cannot send or view messages, but you can install, download, and update games, and play games requiring an internet connection.

    The Steam Friend page with the user having been signed out after selecting offline from the drop down menu.

    Being Offline and signed out on your Friends page is different from being in Offline Mode on the Steam App. Selecting “Go Offline” from the “Steam” drop down menu will put Steam in Offline mode.

    The drop down menu from the Steam App from the "Steam" option.

    This allows most Steam games to be opened without an internet connection. However you will be unable to download any new content and games will be unable to update. What’s more, certain games will always require an online connection and will not work when Steam is in offline mode. It is therefore recommended that you avoid Offline Mode unless you have a specific reason for needing it.

    Appear Offline via the Steam App on PC

    In the top-right corner of the Steam App, click “Friends.”

    The "Friends" option being point at by a read arrow in the top right corner of the Steam App.

    From the drop down menu, click “Invisible.”

    The drop down menu from the "Friends" option in the Steam App.

    You will now appear offline to your friends.

    Appear Offline Via the Friends Page

    Click the ‘Steam’ Icon in your taskbar.

    The Steam Icon as it appears among the other hidden icons on Windows 11.

    Select “Friends.” This will open the Friends page.

    The Menu that appears when the Steam icon is selected. The Friends option is being pointed at by a red arrow.

    Click on the arrow to the right of your username.

    The drop down menu is being pointed at by a red arrow on the Friends page.

    Select “Invisible” from the dropdown menu.

    You will now appear offline on Steam to your friends.

    Once “Invisible,” you can play games or use software knowing that you won’t be disturbed with invites or unwanted messages.